The Washington Nationals reinstated relief pitcher Henry Rodriguez from the 15-day disabled list and placed reliever Chad Gaudin on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. Rodriguez had been on a minor league rehab assignment following spring training, most recently with Class AAA Syracuse.
Rodriguez initially went on the DL when neck spasms began creating issues with his delivery. The Nationals at that time were not going to rush back Rodriguez, whose control has been spotty, but he was approaching the 30-day limit for minor league rehab.
In six appearances with Syracuse, Rodriguez pitched 8 1/3 innings with a 1.08 ERA, nine strikeouts and six walks. Opponents hit just .185 against Rodriguez.
“Henry’s done good in Syracuse,” Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman said. “He’s just gotten a little better each time out. He’s a strong, durable guy that has been able to throw multiple innings.
“The issue in spring training was just reporting a little late, getting a little out of sync, and it took him a while to get back into his game, and he had the aggravation with the neck, so that set him back.”
With Rodriguez’s rehab completed, Washington was facing the prospect of sending down either Gaudin, signed during the winter to a minor league contract, or Rule 5 pick Brian Broderick. Had the Nationals sent down Broderick, they would risk losing him back to St. Louis or being forced to make a trade with the Cardinals in order to keep him.
Washington acquired Rodriguez in the winter along with Syracuse outfielder Corey Brown by dealing slugging outfielder Josh Willingham to the Oakland A’s.
“We just feel like right now [Rodriguez is] ready to go, and he’s thrown consistent strikes,” Riggleman said. “He’s got a great arm. We hope to utilize him as much as we can to take a little bit of the load off of” relievers Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen.
Gaudin, meantime, is on the disabled listed retroactive to April 26. He has pitched 8 1/3 innings this season, allowing 12 hits and 10 runs, including six earned, with eight walks and 10 strikeouts.
“We anticipate it’ll just be some inflammation, a little soreness, that we’ll be able to work out of there, and he’ll be back on in a few weeks,” Riggleman said.